Category: Mary’s Group 2014

Snowflakes on their own

photo1This morning we woke up early in the morning at about seven o’clock. We woke up to another delicious cooked breakfast that we got every day. After breakfast we got all our activity wear and equipment ready for another exciting day packed full of fun. Today we done navigating, we got left on our own most off the day to work out how we were going to get to our destination. Our first part was walking up part of a mountain up a footpath but it was a main one so it was pretty easy to follow. All the time we were walking we were also singing, dancing and rapping. We all made plenty of noise on our walk. We all made up own little raps and made into another song. When we got to the finger post we sat down to eat and debated about which way it was. We got told to go a way which wasn’t even on the post!! But eventually we worked it out. We had walked about 2.5 kilometres and we then met Mary (our leader) to tell us where to go next. We next had to walk next to this stream with Mary so she could make sure we don’t fall in!! The view around us was outstanding. When we had got out onto the road the snowflakes were on another mission on our own. Our next point was
Gelerts grave. On the way we all continued to sing and we had a really good time. When we got to the grave we found out about him and found an old ruin with a metal dog that related to the grave. We all called it Robbie’s dog because he really liked it.
Then we all walked to then town to see what was there. We all had a little rest and a drink, and before we knew it we were off again for the last stretch of the journey. But this part went a bit wrong. Mary, Mr white and Robbie drove off in the mini bus and all we had to do is follow a path that had a sign saying footpath. We just walked straight past it. We didn’t realise and were walking for a while until we retraced our steps. Mary couldn’t see us so she came and pointed us in the right direction. When we finally got back on track we walked for about another half an hour. Until Robbie came to meet us up a long stretch of track. This meant we only had a little way to go. Then we saw a really nice fire on top of a mountain it was really bright. We kept walking and singing until we got to the copper mine. We decided to pull a little trick on Mary and Mr White. Robbie hid in the bush hiding and our group said we hadn’t seen him. So we all got on the bus and was about to leave when Robbie jumped out and pretend he couldn’t find us. But we were already were in the mini bus!!
On the way back to the centre we went to a really nice café. We got given free hot chocolate as a treat. It was an amazing hot chocolate. Everyone enjoyed it a lot.
Our day was amazing and the evening was even better. After dinner we all got put into groups for a quiz. There were four rounds, general knowledge, geography and music (that Mr White sang the lyrics). The prize for the winning team was cake. We all participated and all laughed at Mr white’s singing. The next activity was watching outnumbered it was a great laugh and a lot of fun. After we then watched a PowerPoint of some photos that had been taken throughout the week. This was great (embarrassing for some). The final activity for the evening was another episode of outnumbered. This was even funnier than the last one.
This was a great day and night.

By Geena Bowen

Snowflakes survival

P1090166We woke up in the early hours of the morning with terrible bed hair (some more than others)! Forcing ourselves out of bed we got dressed very slowly and went downstairs for a delicious cooked breakfast. After we finished getting ready everyone met up in the common room to wish Beccy her 14th birthday and to say thank you to Mr Alderson on his 50th trip to Kent mountain centre. After we packed our kit including harnesses, helmets, waterproofs and many warm layers as we had already experienced many different times of weather. Our group snowflakes with our leader Mary, humorous teacher (Mr. white) and Robbie, travelled in the mini bus on the way to our first activity listening to music all having a little sing along and some snoozing. We arrived at our destination at the side of the road and trooped along to find a slippy slate “cliff”. The birthday girl was the first one to abseil down and found out how slippery it really was! We all managed to get down safely although Emma tripped and went the other way into the slate wall. Then Geena managed to get to bottom without mistakes but at the very last second she slipped on the wet grass and landed down on her back and Ella made her first few steps and made it to the middle she turned to smile at the camera with a terrified look on her face and turned round to finish going down and she slid and screamed!!
Unfortunately we had to leave to make time to do other activities so we all piled onto the minivan and half way there our song came on – “It’s all about da bass”. Where we sang along but with our own version we made “it’s all about Da Mountain” we made the day before. After about half an hour we arrived at a car park with a toilet block. To discover that the females toilets were closed. So awkwardly we had to use the men’s toilets not forgetting we all had harnesses on which things even worse.
Finally we made it to the beach only to find it was extremely windy! Not only that but we discovered that Mr White had picked up the wrong size shoes for Robbie. Not only small but a whole three sizes smaller. Robbie is a nine but had six size wellies. Instead Robbie had to wear some of his trainers which looked relatively new. It was really windy, so windy in fact it was hard to walk in a straight line. While we were waiting for Mary to create a really cool and scary Tyrolean Traverse we watched all the surfers trying but continuously fell off because it was so choppy. As we were watching, Amy suddenly spotted a head of a seal bobbing along in the huge waves. We all turned and stared until it disappeared into the deepness of the murky waters. Mr White being the man he was volunteered to test it out to make sure it could hold our weight. It was a horrific moment because one minute he was there the next he wasn’t. We all thought he had died, but luckily he bounced back up to the other side to prove it was safe. Then it was our go. Olly the man he was keen and volunteered to go first. All the girls were sat there still scared until we overcame our fear and braved the Tyrolean Traverse. As we got near the end of the Tyrolean traverse we had to attempt to flip. Only two people managed (Amy and Olly). We all hysterically laughed when it was Mr. White and Robbie’s turn. They attempted to flip over and over again but continued to fail miserably. Despite their effort neither managed to succeed, but they finally climbed across on the rocks to finish crossing it in defeat!! When we had all managed to cross to the other side we had to climb down some slippery rocks. After we made it to safe and secure land we collapsed onto the grass in exhaustion only to find the grass was as soft as cushions and I think I can speak for our whole group when I say we could have all easily gone to sleep at that moment.
After going back to the minivan for a quick lunch (including some yummy chocolate cake) we trenched along the beach to find a vertical wall we were expected to clamber over. Firstly we practiced on the edge of a stony cliff. We had to practise many different ways. We started just climbing along normally and then went to the extreme where we were expected to use opposite arms to leg and were not allowed both arms and legs on at the same time. Practise over, we turned to the wall and had to work as a team again to get all eleven of us over the wall safely. Which we done quickly and safely. It looked really difficult but as we done it we realised it wasn’t as hard as we thought. After we clambered over the wall we scrambled back to our minivan. When we arrived back at the centre we had kept our winning streak of getting back first.

By Geena Bowen and Ella Boswell

It’s all about da mountain

image_4We awoke in the ungodly hours of the morning to a knock on the door. We hurried to get dressed before tripping down the stairs to a scrumptious breakfast. At 9 o’clock we assembled in the Lecture Room where we found out our day would be spent hiking up Mount Y Garn at 947m high with incredible views of our surroundings.
Around 10ish we set off in the minivan with our bags full of waterproofs and jumpers (we had learnt from yesterday’s freezing gorge walking- extra clothes are needed!) and parked near Llyn Ogwen (lake). After changing into all our waterproofs and extra jumpers, we embarked on our adventure. Scrambling up the rocks we arrived at the bottom of the lake, and continued to walk through the squelchy mud- trying not to lose our boots, until we approached the towering mountain.
Rather daunted, (and the instructors unnerved by our silence) we began the trek up the unsteady stone path. However, after about a minute, we stopped to remove our unnecessary garments- already drenched with sweat. Eww. Unbelievably, Olly sported jeans and a checked shirt! (since his joggers were still soaked form yesterday’s activity) We regularly paused to catch our breath and have nibbles of lunch. Legs like jelly, we were only a third of the way up the steps at 11 o’clock. The sole thing that spurred us on was the spectacular view.
The heavens opened. We whipped our waterproofs out of our bag and put them on. Despite this, it was only a drizzle, and we proceeded to boil again in our many layers for 20 minutes until the rain subsided. Just then, when we were losing all hope, a dazzling rainbow appeared and the sun came out. This quickened our pace (that and another menacing rain cloud was bearing down upon us) and we soon came to the end of the stairs. Slumping down on the spiky rocks, we had a quick snack and a drink from our Thermos flasks.
Now two thirds up Y Garn, we stripped off more layers and carried on. The layers of slate proved a very slippery surface and many of us stumbled. During the journey, Mr White managed to think of a song for every situation. (Number One Hit- I’m on top the world, eh!)- dearie me. Fingers in our ears, we encountered 2 funny gentlemen who couldn’t believe that: 1) we were teenagers willingly walking up a mountain and 2) we were from Kent.
A chill was in the air, so we stopped to put on a jumper and finally arrived at the summit. We admired our progress and the breath-taking views of surrounding mountains- including Snowdon and the very reflective lakes.
Our relief at going downhill started Megan, Emma S and Becky (with a little help from Emma L) off with greatly improving the lyrics to “It’s all about da bass”. They changed it into “It’s all about da mountain”- (rest of parody below). Everyone got the singing vibe, and the song was soon known throughout the group.
Now at the Devil’s Kitchen syncline we used our main technique- bum shuffling down the steep rocks! Amusing nicknames were made during this climb down:

  • Geena Bowen- Gangsta Gee
  • Ella Boswell- Female Boss-well
  • Olly Fentinman- Fenty
  • Megan Short- Shorty
  • Emma Laffargue- LaThug
  • Becky Rawson- Awesome Rawson
  • Amy Chapman- Chappy
  • Mr White- Mr-Know-It-All
  • Robbie the Irishman- Robster the Lobster (on account of his alarmingly orange coat)
  • Mary our instructor-Little Lamb

Eventually, we arrived at the minibus and began the journey home.

By Emma Laffargue and Amy Chapman.

Lyrics to “It’s all about da mountain”
It’s all about da mountain, no fashion x3
Yeah it’s pretty clear you wanna stay warm
But when you’re up high, there’s gonna be a storm
I’ve got boots, boots and all the right kit
And all the right food and all the right bags
We see the mountain tops
Rocking the snowy look
We wanna throw ice at Olly, but he makes us stop
If you’ve got banter, then use it all up
Cos every sense of humour is perfect, when you’re on a mountain top
Mr White told us not to worry about fashion
But he whips out the camera and takes some really hot mug shots
Then tells us they’re going on the Dane Court KMC Blog
For everyone to laugh at, but we’re like “Hey what about da mountain tops!”
(Et cetera et cetera.)

The Snowflakes get wet

P1080956In the morning we started off with an early knock on our door around 6:30am, as we were on duty (serve and wash up breakfast). Whilst cleaning up, Megan decided it would be a good idea to pick up two glasses stuck together, thinking it was one making the bottom one fall of and smash. As we did our cutlery dance, Ms Hodgett watched in amusement. We gathered our kit for the day, then realised that none of it actually fitted in our bag, putting all our energy for the day into squeezing it all in. On our journey to Conwy valley, which was a 40 minute drive in a minibus we saw some amazing views either side of us. Although the weather looked sunny, there was still snow on the mountains. We got out the minibus and the banter (less banter more bullying) was already beginning between Mr White and Megan about not being able to count to 3 (joke from the day before) Once we reached Afon Ddu (Afon meaning river, Ddu meaning black, The black river) we stepped into the water in our wellies which were a bit too big for us, Beccy decided to splash everyone. After a while we had to leap from a high rock onto a vertical slippery rock about a meter away. Next was ‘The Elephants Bum’ where we were pulling ourselves up a mini waterfall whilst being attacked by Mr White’s photo when we had to climb through some rocks very close together and the only way we could fit through was to look up were the camera was. Mary (our group leader) then told us the only the thing we want to hear when you’re in a freezing cold river… ‘You’re going to have to swim across’. It was cold. We carried on up into the gorge trying to walk with our wellies that were full with freezing cold water making them almost impossible to walk in. We soon realised that Beccy’s waterproof trousers had a huge rip in them right where the top of her wellies were which is really helpful when walking in a river  We had to walk across a fast flowing waterfall so when we put out our hands for balance all the water splashed in our faces which was obviously the perfect opportunity for Mr White to take some extremely hot mug shots, again, as per usual. Shortly after we came to ‘The Big Daddy Waterfall’ we were told we could go have a look, Olly being Olly clueless as ever thought this meant hey just jump in. He was wrong. As soon as he came up the first thing he said was ‘Ouch I hit my bum’ as everyone burst in to laughter and Olly, of course was confused why everyone was laughing at him. Meanwhile Mr White was raging about the fact that Olly didn’t warn him about this hilarious belly flop of fame. Some of the group started singing to Olly Don’t go chasing waterfalls as we got stuck the lyrics so we turned to ‘Mother Hen’ Emma Swaby to help us out as she knows everything. Emma saw this as chance to have a solo and started to sing the whole and killed it. More climbing and getting wet lead us the top of ‘The Big Daddy’ were Mary stupidly asked us if we wanted to ‘step into’ the plunge pool, of course we were all up for it. Olly went first and done it wrong because well he’s Olly and full on jumped in. We all went for a second go and our mission was to splash Mr White and his camera so the mug shots would come to an end after Beccy very kindly showed us how it was done, but it didn’t stop him. Then began, the walk back. We all had our hands tucked into our buoyancy to stop them from falling off. Olly started walking backwards, looking like a duck. The bum shuffling queens did not succeed, but decided to sing oasis, with Olly and obviously Emma joining in. Once we got to the minibus we had to get changed in the woods. Amy had just changed out of her soaked clothes into fresh underwear, and fell over into the mud, just in underwear. The day wouldn’t have been completed without everyone falling in the gorge or mud at least once.

By Beccy Rawson and Megan Short.

Treking up Carnedd Y Filiast and Mynydd Perfedd

image_2Today we first got into our groups and ours was called Snowflakes. Firstly we planned to climb three mountains so set off up a really long and boring concrete path. Surrounding us was a group of sheep that stupidly thought that we were chasing them so ran as fast as they could to get away from us.
While we got up the first mountain, Carned Y Filliast, we were pushed around by the storming winds. The whole of this part of the walk was uphill, actually most of it was except the journey back. This made it pretty tiring but most of us managed to keep going at a good pace. There weren’t many stops however still some of us would try to eat or drink something quickly before stuffing it back into our soaking, bin-lined rucksacks. The final stint to this mountain we had to walk over dangerous looking rocks which you really don’t want to fall on. Some of them were extremely slippery or wobbling precariously.
When we were walking towards Mynydd Perfedd, there was a massive hail storm and we were all told to get down, But Emma Swaby had a different idea and stupidly just stayed up. It was a rather unexpected scramble and as we stood up again trying to prevent the irritant hail stones Olly Fentiman forgot to get up and as everyone else carried on with their hike he lay sprawled across the mountain side. When we got to the summit we all climbed into a round rock circle and pulled out a yellow tent-like thing that we pulled out behind us and sat on it to keep us away from the disastrous weather. We ate our food which consisted of various sandwiches along with a Kit Kat, a scrumptious flapjack and fruit of are choice. We warmed ourselves by drinking tea and hot chocolate but we also had a choice of squash or water in some bottles. Our group decided to not climb the third mountain due to the weather.
Megan Short and Beccy Rawson led the bum-shuffling group to victory on the way back. This journey was so much easier and took far less time with hardly any stops. It was still raining so we were soaked through by the time we reached the minibus but we were still all relieved and could not wait for the short journey back that would lead us to our nice, hot showers.

By Oliver Fentiman and Emma Swaby